Brief clinical report| Volume 137, ISSUE 1, P104-108, January 2005

The role of median sternotomy in resections for large hepatocellular carcinomas



      The aim of this study was to identify the role of median sternotomy in the hepatic resection of large hepatocellular carcinomas (HCCs).


      From 1992 to 2002, 26 patients who underwent hepatectomy for large HCCs greater than 10 cm in diameter were divided into 2 groups according to the type of incision performed: with median sternotomy (10 patients) or without median sternotomy (16 patients).


      Median sternotomy was performed for 3 patients with tumor thrombus extending into the right atrium and for 7 patients with inadequate exposure of the hepatic veins and suprahepatic vena cava. In these 7 cases, the tumors were located mainly at the upper part of the right lobe in 4 patients and the upper part of the left lobe in 3 patients. Median sternotomy was performed in 6 of 7 patients whose tumor was located in segments 2, 4, 7, and 8, and was greater than 16 cm. No significant differences were found in the intraoperative parameters of blood transfusion, ischemic time, area of the cut surface, and operation time.


      Median sternotomy may be suitable for use as an approach for large HCCs greater than 16 cm, which are located at the upper part of the liver.
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